May 3, 2021

Panel Removes Hundreds of Items from Budget Proposal

Panel Removes Hundreds of Items from Budget Proposal Featured Image
Wisconsin State Capitol Building in Madison, Wisconsin

The Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee has removed a provision that would have allowed educators to negotiate with our employers, along with hundreds of other items, from the governor’s proposed 2021-23 state budget.

Email the Committee

The panel also removed several other items impacting educators and public education, which WEAC supported in the governor’s proposal, including:

  • A move to address the deteriorating quality of educator health benefits by studying the state’s own employee health insurance program as a solution to save districts’ resources and ensure the financial well-being of educators.
  • Measures to require transparency and accountability from taxpayer-funded voucher schools and privately run charter schools, such as enrollment caps, teacher licensure requirements and information for local taxpayers on how much they pay for private school tuition.

Additionally, provisions to expand BadgerCare and ensure a nonpartisan approach to redistricting were also removed.

See All Items Pulled from the Budget

After emailing the committee members, you are encouraged to write or call your state senator and assembly representative. For contact information, enter your home address here: https://legis.wisconsin.gov. You can call your legislators using the Legislative Hotline, 800-362-9472.

“We simply cannot afford for politics to get in the way of making sure we can recover and bounce back from this pandemic. Republicans have obstructed our ability to beat this virus every step of the way, and now they’re playing politics with our economic recovery,” said Governor Evers. “Clearly these legislators need to hear directly from the same folks I’ve been listening to these past seven months, and that’s why I’m calling on Wisconsinites in every corner of the state today to contact their legislators and ask them to support our Badger Bounceback agenda.”

In Detail:

Click here to look up the exact items listed below.

General School Aids and Revenue Limits
• Four-Year-Old Kindergarten Membership (Page 463, #9)

Categorical Aid
• Driver Education Aid (Page 473, #20)

Vouchers, Privately Run Charters and Open Enrollment
• Private School Choice Programs and Special Needs Scholarship Program- Cap
Participation at 2021-2022 Levels (Page 479, #3)
• Private School Choice and Special Needs Scholarship Programs — Teacher Licensure
Requirement (Page 480, #4)
• Private School Choice and Special Needs Scholarship Programs — Information Required on
Property Tax Bill (Page 481, #5)
• Racine and Statewide Choice Programs- Prior Year Attendance Requirement (Page 482,
#6)
• Milwaukee Private School Choice Program- Eliminate City Choice Levy Aid (Page 482,
#7)
• Special Needs Scholarship Program- Delete Actual Cost Reimbursement Provision (Page
483, #9)
• Special Needs Scholarship Program — Private School Requirements (Page 484, #10)
• Special Education Scholarship Program — Religious Activity Opt-Out (Page 484, #11)
• Choice, Charter, and Open Enrollment Payment Indexing Mechanism (Page 486, #13)
• Eliminate Office of Educational Opportunity (Page 487, #14)
• Independent Charter Schools- Driver Education Program Fees (Page 488, #16)
• Charter School Authorizer Report (Page 488, #17)
• Open Enrollment Aid Transfer Amount- Special Education (Page 489, #18)
• Early College Credit Program—Payment to Private Schools (Page 489, #19)
• Early College Credit Program—Independent Charter School Pupils (Page 489, #20)
• Opportunity Schools and Partnerships Program (Page 490, #21)

School Operations and Curriculum
• Prohibit Vaping on School Property (Page 492, # 1)
• Delete MPS Truancy Center and Law Enforcement Officer Requirements (Page 492, #2)
• American Indian Studies Required in Curriculum — School Districts (Page 492, #3)
• American Indian Studies Required in Curriculum — Choice and Charter Schools (Page 493,
#4)
• Health Problems Education Programs (Page 493, #5
Administrative and Other Funding
• Equity Officer Position (Page 496, #12)
• Report on Homeless Pupils (Page 498, #18)
• Climate Change in Model Academic Standards (Page 498, #19)
• American Indian Instruction — Teaching License (Page 499, #20)

Click here to reference the items below.

EMPLOYEE TRUST FUNDS
• Study of School Health Insurance (Page 174, #11)
• Domestic Partnership Benefits (Page 175, #12)
• Rehired Annuitant Teachers (Page 176, #13)

Click here to reference the items below.

EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS COMMISSION 
• Collective Bargaining Modifications (Page 177, #3)
• Local Government Employee Grievance Procedure Modifications (Page 181, #4)

Click here to reference the items below.

INSURANCE
Health Insurance
• Actuarial Study of Optional Public Health Insurance Plan (Page 347, #2)
• School District Group Health Insurance Task Force (Page 362, #9)